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Election workers validate ballots in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2020. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two Georgia election workers on Thursday filed a lawsuit against The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website, for accusing them "of committing ballot fraud to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia."

Why it matters: This is one of the first lawsuits to be filed by individual election workers against media companies for spreading misinformation about the 2020 elections.

  • Previously, some voting companies had filed lawsuits against conservative media outlets such as Fox News, Newsmax and One America News.

Catch up quick: The Gateway Pundit published articles claiming that the two election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, "were involved in a conspiracy to commit election fraud. They continued to publish these untruths long after they were proven to be false," according to a press release.

  • The website allegedly identified the workers by name and published their pictures online, claiming that they interfered with the election results in favor of President Biden.
  • Former President Trump specifically mentioned Freeman by name during his Jan. 3 call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where he attempted to overturn Biden's win in the state, per the New York Times.

Details: The suit "seeks to hold [The Gateway Pundit] accountable for just some of their knowing lies — their false and endlessly repeated accusations that Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss committed election fraud," the lawsuit says.

  • The plaintiffs say that the website spread misinformation saying that Freeman and Moss conspired to remove poll watchers from the room where they were counting ballots, produced "secret suitcases" filled with illegal ballots and ran those ballots through the vote-counting machines "multiple times."
  • Freeman and Moss are seeking compensatory and punitive damages from The Gateway Pundit.

What they're saying: "I couldn’t have imagined the lies that The Gateway Pundit would tell about me, pushing people to harass me and my family and to threaten us with violence," Freeman said in a statement.

  • "I want the defendants to know that my daughter and I are real people who deserve justice, and I never want them to do this to anyone else."
  • The Gateway Pundit did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Read the full lawsuit:

Go deeper

Trump calls McConnell a "loser" before hanging up on NPR host

Photos: Saul Loeb, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump abruptly cut short an interview with NPR on Tuesday after being pressed about his false, baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 and lambasting Republicans who have spoken out against them.

Why it matters: The interview once again highlights the extent to which Trump is willing to turn against members of his own party if they do not back his unsupported claims.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas tech giants

A mob of Trump supporters breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday subpoenaed Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter for records as part of its investigation of the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The four social media companies have key information related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election and domestic violent extremism, the panel said.

4 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine.